There are several moments in your life that you will always remember in terms of importance. The birth of your first child, your wedding day, maybe even getting your first career or graduating college. I would like to nominate yesterday as one of those days: the day Alain Vigneault got terminated.
Okay, so obviously I’m being sarcastic (or am I?), but I am so damn happy about this. Although there were plenty of question marks surrounding the Rangers this season, nobody expected this. What should’ve been a year of hope and promise was instead a year of pain and sorrow. Players were often misused, the system began to crumble and not once we’re things addressed. Do you think they were? How many times did we hear, “We did some good things” in post game press conferences? How often did we question effort from players? How often were we bewildered by their defensive structure? Effort and execution COULD be blamed on the players but in my mind should be blamed on the coach. We’re not talking about one or two players but an entire team of professional hockey players. This was not one or two diva players but an entire system that continued to be flawed.
I think the one thing that bothered me the most, other than the use of Marc Staal, was the fact that AV NEVER admitted he was at fault. This man was so delirious to the fact that the world around him was burning that he even truly thought that he’d be back last year. I will now share my favorite tweet of all time with you.
Laugh out loud funny. Not only did he tell the media that he’d be back but he also said that him and his staff did a great job. IN WHAT FUCKING WORLD??! Like, do we think he was trolling here or being serious??! The year the Rangers fired Torts, they did so 2 days after the exit meetings. This time, the Rangers waited, hm just about 2 hours. If you watched Rangers games until the end of the year you heard guys like Bob McKenzie and Pierre McGuire talk about how great of a coach AV was, how he’d probably be back and if he wasn’t, that he’d be a head coach soon. All of this hogwash had me utterly confused after watching the last two seasons of the Rangers highlighted by a second round exit to the Senators, which was literally 10000% AVs fault, and this GONGSHOW of a year.
Having said all of this, AV was a good coach when the Rangers had tons of veterans and very little youth. Looking back at the Rangers Stanley Cup run, the Rangers youngest player was JT Miller (20) who only played in 30 games. When AV has a team of GOOD veterans, he can make some magic work. In comparison, the Rangers this year had 8 players under the age of 22. Was AV put in a good position to succeed this year? No, not exactly. But why did he continue to make the same mistakes? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result. Maybe the first time this team played like dogshit maybe mix it up?
In conclusion, I have not been this happy in a very long time. Last year, the Rangers had two first round picks and this year they have three. The future has looked bright but has not been brighter than this very moment. Alain Vigneault is gone and there is PLENTY to be excited about.